Title: In Too Deep
Author: Jude Watson
ISBN: 9780545060462
Pages: 206 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Inc., c2009.

“Is there something you want to tell me? About what you’re really doing in Australia?”
“Okay, Dan said. “I guess it’s time we told you the truth.”
Amy gave him a no way look.
“Back in Massachusetts, Amy and I broke into our school one night. No biggie, right? Except that our assistant principal, Mortimer C. Murchinson, is an alien. At night he takes off his face and turns into this eleven-foot-tall thing with eight arms . . .”
“. . .who plays for the Boston Celtics,” Shep said with a sigh. “I get it.” His gaze was searching as it rested on them. Then he turned and started back to the cockpit. “If you see any stealth bombers coming our way, just give a yell, okay?”
“You got it, Captain,” Dan answered. (108)

In Jude Watson’s second book for the 39 Clues series, In Too Deep is a very appropriate title. Dan and Amy Cahill are off to Australia, with au pair Nellie and cat in tow, and they are in over their heads. The Kabra’s mother Isabel has entered the fray, and she is not happy with the way her children have been handling the hunt. Irina is also following close behind, but might have her own agenda. New things are coming to light about Nellie, including the fact that she can fly a plane?! New information is also resurfacing about Dan and Amy’s parents, and the fire that took their lives. In the race for the 39 Clues, you either sink or swim.

Ok, I’m enjoying the series again. This book really delved into Amy, giving her much more background and interest. Dan and Amy’s relationship with eachother has also swung back to the more believable and dimensioned, with Dan being the annoying younger brother and Amy struggling with her responsibilities towards him. The story behind Irina is also expanded on, and my suspicions about her turned out true. Granted, this sort of decreased the impact when the revelation finally saw the light of dead, but it’s gratifying to be proven correct. The suspense was also there, and although I was disappointed by the lack of puzzles, riddles, and real sleuthing, it didn’t bother me to the point of fruastration. It bothered me more when they were magically solving obscure references without any assistance, like in previous books in the series. And I loved the added intrigue with Nellie, which I hope continues to develop.

On a related note, I had to put my own deductive reasoning to the test when a library patron asked for assistance with a geocaching clue. If older children are interested, geocaching is when they use GPS coordinates to find clues hidden in public places. there’s usually a notebook where people who have found it can leave their mark. In the two years we’ve had the cache, I’ve only had to help two people find the notebook.